|Year:||Legacy Class '17|
|Team:||Athletic Director, Baseball, and Men's Basketball Coach at Colorado Northwestern|
The distinctive voice on the other end of the phone line was familiar. All it said was: “Paul Conrad. Colorado Northwestern.”
That’s the way Conrad began his conversation while calling in statistics to newspapers from the myriad of teams he coached at the Junior College in Rangley. And he repeated the process over and over for more than three decades.
From the moment he began the long trek from Decatur, Indiana to Colorado to take a coaching job in 1967, Conrad began forming a legacy for himself.
He started out as an assistant basketball coach and head baseball coach at Rangely College. It didn’t take long for him to become the head basketball coach and athletic director. For the next 33 years, Conrad was a fixture in Rangely, a town of a couple thousand near the Utah and Wyoming borders. By the time he retired from coaching in 2000, his teams had 430 wins in basketball and 462 in baseball.
Those are numbers of legendary status, and a headline in the December 31, 2009 edition of the Rio Blanco Herald Times about Conrad read “The Legend Lives On.” Obviously, he won (and lost) more games than any other coach in Colorado Northwestern Community College history in both basketball and baseball. In all, Conrad coached more than 2,500 games and sent numerous players to four-year institutions and even some who signed professional contracts.
While the numbers are great, Conrad will be remembered most for his character and ability to interact with others, especially his players. “Oh yeah,” he was quoted, “Being around them, recruiting them. Getting them and keeping them here, that was tough sometimes. You had to be like a mother and a father to them.”
Conrad grew up in sports, lettering in football, basketball, and baseball in Decatur. He attended Ball State University in Indiana where he played “football, baseball, and poker, not necessarily in that order, and my grades showed it,” he was quoted as saying.
He then joined the ARMY and at his discharge, enrolled at Adams State in Colorado and earned his master’s degree. Conrad has been married to his wife Sharon for 53 years and has four children and 6 grandchildren.